2007-04-01: Pigs Don't Fly


Niki_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif Tabitha_icon.gif Stuart_icon.gif

Summary: Customers talk about aliens and superpowers (and have a minor debate over whether or not such crazy things exist, obviously they don't, jeez) and Niki keeps trying to be a good employee.

Pigs Don't Fly

Enlightenment Books, East Village, NYC

It's April Fool's Day, and as Cass predicted with her infinite bookselling wisdom the day before, Enlightenment Books has been busy. Niki has been here since it opened this morning, trying to help people with the gag gifts they want to buy their friends. With varying results. This is very much not her area expertise. At all. But a bright smile goes far. By now, it's late afternoon, and it happens to be one of the times that she's alone with the customers, although it's entirely possible that another Enlightenment-worker is lurking out of sight. The store is also seeing a lull in activity with only one person wandering around, but that's bound to change. Niki sits behind the counter, staring at the doodled upon, employee copy of Activating Evolution that's open in front of her.

Books. As an avid animal lover and potential veterinarian, Daphne often has to purchase textbooks for her various classes. Next term isn't going to be so great, with chemistry and math at the top of her list, but she'd rather beat the summer rush and get her textbooks as soon as possible. Some of them have been acquired on campus, but some of them… well, she has to go elsewhere, so here she is.

Pushing open the door, keeping blue eyes fixed somewhere ahead and on the floor, she heads for the natural science section, bypassing a rack of comic books that she'd much rather read. Alas that the life of a student is one of ABSOLUTELY NO FUN EVER, or she'd stop for a bit. …Okay, she does stop for a bit, pulling one of the comics from the metal shelving so she can hopefully page through it and see how her favourite superhero fared. Of course, the last issue she read was, oh, four or five— six? Seven months earlier, so things have probably changed with the story by then. Like, who's the weird alien with twelve eyes and two bellybuttons? Who knows? Idly, she looks around to see if there are any employees present. Spotting Niki, Daphne purses her lips and sets the comic down. Maybe she'll buy it on the way out. Maybe.

April fools day and they gave him the day off, no bigwigs needing ported anywhere, at least until they page and demand the transportation, sometimes Stuart hates them so. Anyway, today finds him wandering into the bookstore, still dressed for his dayjob (for easiness) in a very smart black suit, though his cap is left in the vehicle. He promptly heads over to the Non-fiction stacks, looking for interesting military history texts.

Tabitha strides into the shop, invading the quiet. Shopping bags from trendy area shops are looped over one arm, her other hand is occupied with holding up the cellphone she's busily chatting in. "Oh look, Elphie, I'm going into another store, it's my agent's birthday and she /swears/ she wants to convert to Kaballah, or Scientology. She cannot make up her mind. Isn't that just sad? I've got to buy her a gift, talk to you later, kiss kiss!" With a snap, she flips her phone shut. It's hot pink, and is slipped into an equally pink purse slung over her shoulder.

Tucking the business card of a bookmark somewhere in the middle, Niki shuts the book she's been reading - or trying to read, at the very least - to greet the trio of customers. They always appear all at once, she's noticed. "Hey, guys. Let me know if you need help finding anything, okay?" the blonde offers, smiling one of those bright, friendly customer service smiles - but it seems genuine enough.

Sadly, Stuart’s search for bizarre military books must go unfulfilled, the man instead noticing a copy of Activating Evolution, that book that everyone is reading at the moment. He rolls his eyes, sighs, and picks up a book on celtic mythology, flicking through it (it has pretty pictures, all blood and gore and men with spears), "Don't know what the appeal is," he mutters to himself, obviously meaning the Suresh text, "Supermen.."

"Well…" Her eyes narrow, she looks back toward where she was heading before. 'Books' seems to have indicated that there'd be something possibly here she could use, and there is, if she were to look a bit, but for the most part… "I've never been here before," Daphne says. Truth! Which is why she's kind of lost, and realising that the section she's heading towards probably contained some really weird-ass 'natural science.'

She's never read 'Activating Evolution' herself, though she probably should - all things considered. She certainly knows what she's /seen,/ and that's enough to make anyone's hair stand on end, their skin crawl. "I dunno," she says to Stuart. "Kinda nice to read all this once in awhile." —said in a /slightly/ mocking tone that may or may not be truthful. It's bordering on sarcastic, though.

Tabitha raises a hand and wriggles her fingers in greeting at Niki. "Hi there, will do!," is called out in a high and girly sounding voice, accompanied by a beaming smile. She taps a polished nail against pink tinted lips as she peruses the shop's offerings.. "Oh! There's what I'm looking for," is said as she heads for the religious texts.

"This place can be a little overwhelming at first," Niki says to Daphne in the way of friendly encouragement - despite the store's coziness, it's … well, it's weird. She smiles to Tabitha, watching where the woman heads. And if the employee who was reading a copy of the book Stuart is mumbling about happens to notice the reason for said mumbling, she doesn't pay him any mind until Daphne comments. "It's pretty out there, but it's been a popular book lately."

"Like anyone can fly, pshaw!," Stuart says in reply, nodding at the book in question, "Its all too many drugs, if'n you ask me." Of course, then he realises he is talking to a young lady and stops himself from continuing. Niki chimes in and he nods, "This guy really things there’s people who can fly, of course its "pretty out there". Telepaths, superhumans, like I said, too many drugs in the sixties."

Oh dear lord, happy, chirpy people make Daphne ill. She will not, however, say anything, because actions speak louder than words. A teensy lip-curl is offered toward Tabitha, pale eyes roll just a little. People like that never grow up. Then again, Daphne's living in a house paid for by her parents, and she plays with animals all day, so… less room to talk. Idly, she picks up the comic again, since she's not likely to find what she needs here. Well, except books that allege that pandas are descended from aliens or something, but… "So you work here," Daphne notes matter-of-factly, continuing to page through the - admittedly mundane - selection she's got in her hand.

Still maintaining that somewhat sarcastic, non-caring attitude, she leans against a shelf. "So y'don't think it's possible?" She asks Stuart. "It could be. People used to think tomatoes were poisonous, so, you know, maybe pigs can fly." Pigs, yeah. Pigs can also talk. They talk to Daphne. Tell her to /do things./ It gets disturbing.

Tabitha's gaze drifts over the titles on the shelf. Dyanetics, Kaballah for beginners, oh joy. Given the shop that she's in, the conversation going on is purely theoretical. It /has/ to be. She's very much in Stuart's corner. She may be in theater, but she knows reality! Sort of. Humming lightly to herself, she peruses the titles, selecting one on Kaballah.. now to find one on the other. All to help her agent pick which cult to join! Her brows do raise faintly as she listens slightly to the conversation.

Niki harbours a secretly amused little smirk on Stuart's comments; it lingers while Daphne talks, too, but eventually the woman shrugs casually. "Yeah, it's all what you wanna believe, right? Everything in this store is kinda questionable depending on who you ask."

"Never did like tomatoes," Stuart opines, flicking through the pages of the celtic book and chuckling, "Maybe pigs can fly, if they could though, would they not be flying away from the people that make bacon? That I can handle tomatoes with." he offers.

Tabitha does get a glance or two, but she’s quickly discounted as just another /blonde/, so Daphne gets his attention properly, "See, you see stuff when you're with the Reg- When you work for my Com-.. When you drive for a living, and I've not seen anything makes me think people can fly, unless they've just been hit by a truck."

There are pigeons on the roof squabbling over something. Then again, there are pigeons everywhere, so she shuts them out when she can. Thinking about it, though, the 'no YOU' conversation she's hearing is kind of irritating. Daphne clears her throat, shutting out the noise. That's getting a bit easier, lately. "No, they clip their wings. You never see pigs with wings. Doesn't mean there /aren't/ any." Smirk. Yeah, they kind of just… shave the limbs right off as the bacon's born! Makes everything a lot easier. Poor pigs. Laughing, Daphne pages through the comic book 'til she's near the end. That's where all the interesting stuff happens, anyhow. Tabitha catches her attention again… Kind of a little stutter going on there? "I've never seen my brain. Doesn't mean I don't have one. At least… I think I do."

Tabitha plucks up another tome, based simply on title. She's not going to be the one reading these things after all! Books tucked into the crook of her arm, she wanders the shop. Might as well, since she's already here and has the free time! Listening, but not joining, one comment is on Tab's mind and that is, these people are crazy!

The woman manning (…) the shop isn't about to say anything to convince /anyone/ that people can fly. Or pigs. No way. That is not in Niki's job description. She does say, however: "The book's all about genetics. It's like— a comic book described by science." Another shrug, this one small, one-shouldered. Tabitha gets a slightly questioning look and another smile; is she done shopping?

"See, I've seen people’s brains, usually after they've been hit by a truck, even," Stuart says, failing to gauge appropriate humour, "I get your point, but, I mean, super-strength? Did Stan Lee get made god when we weren't watching? If God wanted men to fly, we'd have had wings." Then he closes the celtic book and puts it under his arm, "I'm sorry, my name is Stuart, shouldn't argue religion with pretty girls I don't know." and he offers a hand forward.

Daphne's just about out of wit for the day. The 'I've never seen my brain' thing was borrowed from a joke she heard - religious, appropriately - that fit the topic at hand. But really, no one knows what's inside 'til one actually sees it, and that's what faith is all about. Not that Daphne has /faith/ in the religious sense, except for a little, but given the fact that she can do something weird, and her best friend can do something weird, she has to believe that it's possible that other people can do weird things, too. "That book. I'd like to read it." It's curiosity, really. One copy of Activating Evolution should be an excellent read when she should be studying for her finals. Tucking her comic under one arm, she holds out her hand to Stuart. "Daphne. Really, I know it's crazy, but…" The statement ends with a shrug as she heads toward the counter. Out of the blue, she asks, "Does anyone believe in aliens?"

Tabitha smiles brightly at Niki, "Mind if I set these books and my bags here on the counter? I want to browse a little. Everything's so interesting in here and my things are getting a little heavy." Her nose wrinkles up just a bit as she glances towards Stuart and Daphne. "Aliens? Uh.. no… I belong to a crowd with some weird beliefs though."

Niki sort of … eyes Stuart for a moment, but says nothing until Daphne pipes up with her random question. "A lot of people do, apparently," she answers with a touch of incredulity, borne from experience in her short time working here. "That section gets a lot of traffic." To Tabitha, she shakes her head good-naturedly. "Not at all, go ahead."

After shaking her hand, the man is about to answer the aliens question, even turning so far as to face the massive pile of books on the subject, "Some do-" Stuart begins to say, before Tabitha says her piece, "What are you then? A scientologist, pagan, vegetarian, vegebian- wait, no, "vegan", thats the word, eh?"
As far as Niki eye-ing him goes, he smiles at her for a second and carries right on asking silly questions, "or what?"

"So in the whole galaxy, the /universe,/ you think we're alone. Okay, could be possible." It's just so much more likely that there are aliens than flying pigs, even if no one's ever seen aliens. It's hard to believe that in the entire universe, life didn't evolve somewhere else, which means that there's always a possibility for some guy to up and fly to work one morning. Granted, Daphne only thinks it's possible because she kind of /has/ to think it's possible. "I'm just saying. theories have to come from somewhere, right? So maybe…" Setting the comic and a copy of Suresh's book in front of Niki, she thinks for a moment, then adds, "It's crazy. But I can't say for certain that there aren't aliens. Or flying pigs."

Tabitha beams a smile of thanks, setting the books to purchase on the counter, bags next to it. Blinking lightly, she turns to address Stuart, "I was raised Christian, but working with the theater crowd, I see a lot of different practices and beliefs." To Daphne, she shrugs her shoulders, "That I don't know. I've never stopped to think about it." In other words, it doesn't really concern her. Existence or lack thereof of aliens has no impact on her daily life. Same as people with 'powers'. Please.

These topics are normal faire around Enlightenment, so all Niki does is her job. "Who knows. Stranger things, right?" she says with a small grin as she stands up to ring Daphne's books through. "Is that everything?"

"Chances are we're not alone, Daphne, but I'm doubting they abduct hicks and give people super powers," Stuart says, after a moment of reflection, "Aye, stranger things have happened." To Tabitha, the man smiles and nods, "I'm told actors are like that."
He lets the conversation between the three girls go on, waiting until all are served before paying for his own book, one that is /not/ activating evolution.

She'll have to share the book with Laurel sometime. Not sure what she'll find in there, sure, but at least it'll be something to eat the time. "Yeah, that's all," she says to Niki. Daphne pays then, with enough cash on hand so that she doesn't have to use her credit cards. There's so much on them from paying for loans already, it's a good thing. "Doesn't hurt to think sometimes," she adds, subtly (Or not so subtly) calling Tabitha out on the fact that… Well, it doesn't seem much like the girl thinks much /at all./ But what does Daphne know? "I need to go get my textbooks now. But I'll be back." Interesting place.

Tabitha gives Stuart a polite smile, one that could be a little patronizing. Mmmhmm. Daphne, well, she's given a sharp look of reproach for that little jab. Hmph. "I think plenty enough for what I need to do." The other stuff, she just pays someone to do it for her. Outside the box? The supernatural? So not her thing.

Activating Evolution and the comic book, once they're paid for, are slipped into a bag and handed over to Daphne. "I hope you like the book," Niki offers. Not that she's particularly interested in finishing /herself/, but never mind. "Have a nice day!" She lays a hand on Tabitha's purchases-to-be next. "If you're ready…" And if not, Stuart seems to be.

Sadly, Stuart does not have the spare cash for the book and ends up pulling out the company gas card, noting to pay it back, "Ladies first, I've got time to kill," he says to Niki, smiling. He stands back and lets the girl go first, "Nice store this, by the way."

"I suppose I'm finished," Tabitha muses as she turns back around to the counter. She fishes around in her pink purse, withdrawing a very pink wallet. She likes PINK okay!? "Just those two will be fine. You don't gift wrap by any chance do you?"

Niki can't really take credit for the store being nice, but she does lend Stuart a gracious smile all the same. "The owner, Cass, she does have a nice place here." Quirky, weird, but nice. She rings up Tabitha's purchases, and as she reaches to take the payment, she glances to the wallet. "Cute," she says before hesitating for a moment and glancing at the shelves underneath the counter. "… Yes," she says eventually. There's the paper. She knows Cass mentioned gift-wrapping. "You want me to wrap this book up for you?"

Smiling at the pink bag, Stuart moves back over to the stacks, idly pondering an impulse buy whilst he waits to be served.

"Why thank you, oh yes please, if you don't mind terribly." Clearly, Tabitha is used to shops gift wrapping. "It's a birthday present for my agent." A credit card is pulled out, sadly, it is not pink, stupid company not offering one. Hmph.

"Not a problem!" Niki handles the (sadly not pink) credit card first, though. As it turns out, the giftwrap is recycled and environmentally safe. It's not fancy, but it has a little gender-neutral pattern and a bit of shimmer all the same. Niki clears off the counter in order to roll out some of the paper, cut it, and go about wrapping Tabitha's book. It's a neat job - she's wrapped many a birthday present in her time. When all is said and done, it's placed in the bag and handed to the much more petite blonde. "I hope your agent likes it."

Once everyone is served, Stuart approaches the counter, puts his book down and opens his wallet, which is empty, "Damn," he says, mostly to himself, "I'll have to put it on the company gas card and pay them back." Which he does, holding out a visa card totally unremarkable, aside from it's reading "primatech vehicle gas card 04" in little silver letters, but even thats not vastly important, "Can I place a special order here, do you do that?" he asks Niki.

"Ooh, that is a nice paper." Nothing fancy or upscale, but it doesn't have to be. So long as it looks nice. Tabitha takes her card back, slips it back into her wallet! "Thanks so much, I hope so too. She's having a crisis of faith and can't /quite/ make up her mind.. so.. she's trying everything." Her bags are scooped up, "Thanks again!"

"You're welcome. Thanks for shopping at Enlightenment!" As Tabitha makes to leave, Niki rings through Stuart's book and takes the card - which /would/ be unremarkable if her eye didn't catch on a certain company name. She looks down at the small silver letters a she holds the card between thumb and forefinger, then up at Stuart, skeptical; but she says nothing, only smiles and finishes up, giving him the price and slip. "I can write down the title of the book down for you, if you want? See if it can be ordered in? As long as it's in theme I think it's okay."

"Oh, I think it might be," Stuart says, not noticing the reaction his visa causes, wanting to sign off and order, "Its "The Mithraic cult in Southern Scotland" bt R. S. MacFarlane, I forget the publisher. Very hippy-dippy." he adds, smiling.

Niki writes this down on a notepad - to a tee, save perhaps for "Mithraic" - and underlines it. People in this store and their crazy requests. "Sure, I'll pass this along to my boss to see if she can get it for you. Do you want to leave your number so we can call you if we get it in?"

"Oh? Uhh.. aye, I've the phone here, its new though, let me check the number," Stuart says, fishing the phone out and looking up the THISPHONE entry in the addressbook, he can't be the only one to do that, surely, "Its 283-8294, can you leave a message, since I'm usually on the road."

The number is also written down and Niki hands Stuart his purchase. "Sure, no problem. Have a nice day," she says with yet another of those smiles. "Hey," she says after a moment with a hint of a smirk. "Watch out for those aliens." It is April Fool's Day, after all.

"And you watch out for those supermen," is Stuart's chuckled reply, "have a good one!" he says as he takes the purchase and heads out.

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